Amboseli National Park is famous for its iconic sightings of elephant with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background.

Best Amboseli Safaris

Amboseli National Park, one of Kenya’s best safari parks, is a place of superlatives, and a place of contrasts. On your game drives there’ll be new vistas around each bend in the track, from dry, fossil lake bed to verdant swamp. And of course, Africa’s highest mountain towers over Amboseli; indeed, the only thing that prevents Mount Kilimanjaro from completely stealing the show is the vast array of wildlife around.

Most notable is the park’s elephant, as Amboseli is one of the best places in Kenya – if not the world – to see these free-ranging giants at close quarters. Viewing elephant against the impressive backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro is a sight you’ll never forget. Certainly, the shots I have of this iconic scene have pride of place in my safari-photo collection.

Thanks to the pioneering efforts of conservationist Cynthia Moss, the elephant population here is one of the best understood in Africa. You can visit the Amboseli Elephant Research Project and learn more about the annual elephant migration, plus hear the story of Echo, the iconic matriarch and documentary film star. The ongoing research has really put Amboseli on the map, and made it a must-visit destination on any Kenya safari itinerary.

Just like the elephant, you can explore Amboseli on foot with your guide on a walking safari. Bush breakfasts and bush sundowners let you enjoy the best parts of the day in style – you may be in the wild, but welcome touches of luxury are never far away if you stay at one of Kenya’s best safari lodges, nearby. Whether it’s a campfire breakfast or a G&T, some things just taste better in Africa!

When to Go

This is the best time for a safari in Amboseli National Park. Firstly, the weather is dry and cool, so your game drives are pleasantly comfortable. Secondly, it’s just after the long rains, so while the bush is initially lush it gets progressively sparser, making wildlife easier to spot. If you choose to visit Kenya at this time of year, you should combine Amboseli with the Masai Mara, as you’ll be able to see the Great Wildebeest Migration there from July to September – a spectacular sight!

Following the short rains of November, the dry season takes hold in Amboseli. The vegetation gets very sparse during these months and the animals congregate around the unique Amboseli wetlands – created by Mount Kilimanjaro’s water runoff – and you’ll get excellent game viewing. Visits to Amboseli now are best combined with a trip to Tanzania’s Serengeti, where the Great Wildebeest Migration will be located. You’ll get to see the wildebeest’s dramatic birthing season there at this time too.

Amboseli experiences long rains, which fall steadily throughout April and May, as well as short rains – afternoon bursts in November. While muddy roads can make getting around tricky in parts, the roads into the park itself are good. As it’s a quiet time for tourism now, the wildlife experiences are exclusive, with few other vehicles around. You’ll also get to see the elephant migrating back from the forests surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro around April, as they come in search of the growing vegetation and wet marshlands. All in all, this is good-value time to visit Amboseli, but don’t forget your raincoat!

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